Prep basketball roundup: Harvard-Westlake wins double-overtime thriller

Prep basketball roundup: Harvard-Westlake wins double-overtime thriller

Robert Horry was known for making big shots as a seven-time NBA champion. Now his son, Christian, is creating his own identity with his defense. Just call him The Stopper. First at the end of regulation, then in the second overtime, Horry made critical defensive plays to help No. 1 Harvard-Westlake escape with an 85-78 double-overtime win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame before a hostile sold-out gym.

“I love it,” the 6-foot-2 junior said. “Anything I can do for the team.”

Both teams were refusing to budge, combining to make 10 consecutive free throws at one point under pressure in the two overtime periods. Notre Dame (14-8, 3-1) was severely hampered when guard Caleb Foster fouled out just before the end of regulation. He had 20 points, and his absence allowed the Wolverines (21-1, 4-0) to focus on Dusty Stromer and Mercy Miller. Foster was close to unstoppable on drives, either scoring or drawing fouls.

With 9.2 seconds left in the first overtime, Nikolas Khamenia tied it by making two free throws for Harvard-Westlake. In the second overtime, the Wolverines finally broke free. Jacob Huggins and Brady Dunlap each had two baskets. Notre Dame had lost its firepower without Foster.

Brady Dunlap of Harvard-Westlake goes against Dusty Stromer of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

Brady Dunlap of Harvard-Westlake goes against Dusty Stromer of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in a double-overtime thriller by the Wolverines.

(Allen Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Wolverines had five players reach double figures in scoring. Trent Perry had 27 points, Huggins 18 points and 11 rebounds, Khamenia 15 points, Dunlap 14 and Robert Hinton 11. Stromer scored 21 points and Miller 18 to support Foster.

It was a huge win for Harvard-Westlake, which hosts Sierra Canyon on Friday in a challenging but fun week of Mission League basketball mania.

“This is what I practice for, playing in front of a lot people putting on a show,” Khamenia said.

In the end, the Wolverines found a way to win, just like they did a couple weeks ago in a triple overtime thriller against Bishop Montgomery. Having Horry ready to be a defensive stopper sure helps.

“He’s a great on-ball defender,” coach David Rebibo said. “We always look for him when we need a stop. I’m proud of the guys.”

Sierra Canyon 61, St. Francis 43: They’ve lived, for much of their high school lives, on buses. On planes. The Sierra Canyon Trailblazers have gone country-wide, even worldwide, playing in front of thousands.

But one of their toughest tests of the season Wednesday night came not in Georgia, not in Oregon, but with a deafening St. Francis High student section in La Cañada Flintridge. Kids in neon green and orange and pink packed “The Dungeon” in their home gym, causing such a ruckus that the Trailblazers looked almost unable to hear coach Andre Chevalier’s guttural screams from the sidelines.

Welcome to the Mission League.

“I think they were a little bit affected by the noise,” Chevalier said. “Took them a while to get adjusted to it.”

In an emotional battle, junior Isaiah Elohim stepped up with a bevy of midrange pull-ups and rim attacks to lead the Trailblazers with 24 points. Playing through contact all night, he buried a fourth-quarter three and blew a three-finger kiss to the crowd, the capper in a hard-fought night.

Sierra Canyon was playing without senior Bronny James, who Chevalier said was resting his knee. James had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in early 2021.

Junior Justin Pippen, though, started in place of James and had one of the best games of his high school career, hitting three threes and playing tough defense. St. Francis senior point guard Jackson Mosley, son of East Los Angeles College men’s basketball coach and “Last Chance U” star John Mosley, scored 12 for St. Francis.

St. John Bosco 55, Santa Margarita 30: Elzie Harrington had 14 points for the Braves, who led 12-0 after the first quarter.

Crenshaw 58, King/Drew 51: The Cougars (18-2) helped their City Section Open Division seeding with an important win in the Coliseum League. Jeremiah Blackmon scored 17 points and AJ Robinson 12 for the Cougars.

Santa Monica 54, Culver City 45: Joshua Hecht had 19 points for Santa Monica.

Oak Park 62, Simi Valley 58: Trey McDonald finished with 20 points for Oak Park.

Girls’ basketball

Birmingham 74, El Camino Real 46: S’riaya Peters scored 17 points and Sammy Velasquez added 16 for Birmingham.

Times staff writer Luca Evans contributed to this roundup.